Rate the Last Movie You Watched: Split 3

Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 21167
D.H.The Monster That Challenged the World - 7/10 - Not bad. It holds your attention. The script is decent and so are the monster(s). And there's interesting side characters along with an unconventional setting, the Salton Sea.

It's a weird monster. I'm not sure it could challenge my grandpa's garage-sale, but whatever, it was the 1950s.
Female lead was pretty credible though.
May 19, 2017 3:24 AM
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Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 21167
D.H.Empire of the Ants - 5/10 - All this time I was under the impression that this was a silly, somewhat diverting giant mutated creature feature. But it has a 0% Tomatometer and the director Bert I. Gordon has made tons of other goofy scifi/horror movies from 1954 all the way up to three years ago. I hadn't watched it in awhile but I had forgotten or overlooked how remarkably talky it is. There's all these backstories and awkward attempts at setting up romantic connections. It was made in 1977 and at times it comes off like an episode of The Love Boat. It does have great character actors like Robert Lansing (Gary 7 from the original Star Trek) and Albert Salmi and also Joan Collins. Watch it if you like giant mutated insect movies. Otherwise stick with classics like Them!, which is on tomorrow on Turner Classic Movies.

Saw this in the theater, twice, but have not seen it since I don't think.
It's in my queue, might give it a spin since you bring it up.
May 19, 2017 3:25 AM
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Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 2846
The Fate of the Furious (F. Gary Gray/2017) 7/10

I'm assuming that all $250 million of the budget went to smashing expensive cars. There was one scene where it was raining cars. Don't ask me to explain further. Let's just say this is the most over the top F&F to date and I really don't see how 9 and 10 are gonna up the ante. Still I had a blast watching all the collateral damage and Dwayne Johnson and Kurt Russell were great as always.
May 19, 2017 3:47 AM
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Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 24783
Logan - 9/10 - This hit's all the right notes and avoids hitting any bad ones. The gritty tone doesn't feel pretentious and the emotional moments are rightfully earned and don't feel tacked on. It's a great script from Mangold, Frank and Green paired with heartfelt performances from Jackman and Stewart and especially Dafne Keen in her first ever role. Head and shoulders above every other CBM. Winter Soldier comes close in terms of faultless execution but it's an entirely different archetype.
May 19, 2017 5:53 AM
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Joined: May 2012
Posts: 9471
Alien 3 (Assembly Cut) - 8/10
May 19, 2017 10:09 PM
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Posts: 24783
Them! - 9/10 - Still the gold standard of 50's era giant mutated monster films. A really strong cast all the way down to the small, blink-and-you'll-miss-them roles. Does a great job of setting a sense of foreboding with the opening shot of a catatonic little girl wandering through the desert. Then it just takes it from there in an efficient, no frills kind of way.
May 20, 2017 4:34 AM
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Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 24783
The Magnetic Monster - 3/10 - I've heard this described as an involving thriller and I suppose some people could see it that way. If you have a background or a general interest in science. Or a shitload of patience. The script is a snoozer by director Curt Siodmak and a guy named Ivan Tors who I think had something to do with Flipper, the old 60's series starring a dolphin. Siodmak also wrote a boatload of classic 40's horror films but this one featured a "monster" that turned out to be a subatomic particle of a new radioactive element. One that kept growing and magnetizing stuff unless it was fed and blah, blah, blah. I think it was meant to be a franchise series starring "A-Men" from the OSI (Office of Scientific Investigation). But despite it's earnest attempt to inject some hard science into the usual creature feature proceedings it never caught on. Chiefly because of that I'm assuming.
May 20, 2017 4:48 AM
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Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 17760
Serpico (1973) follows the life of policeman Frank Serpico (Al Pacino), who in the 70s went against his own department to uncover the massive, institutionalized corruption within. Serpico does this despite the threats on his life and the adverse effects in his career and personal life.

Good things first, Pacino shines in this. He's really good in it, with a good mixture of subtle acting like he did in The Godfather, and a healthy dose of "exaggerated" exasperation like he did in Heat. But the balance is good. Pacino manages to convey the slow, growing frustration of Serpico perfectly. The disillusionment in his body language, the exasperation in his voice. Also, the film is well shot. Sydney Lumet knows how to handle the camera, obviously, and how to make you feel in it.

The "mildly" bad thing is the pace. I felt the film rushed through events, more focused on taking the story from Point A to Point B than it could've been in focusing on the characters within the events. This is more noticeable in the first act, which rushes through Serpico's first years in the force with little detail. This ultimately hinders the effect of what he sees and experiences.

All in all, Serpico is a pretty solid film with a pretty good performance from Pacino, and that is probably the sole reason to see it. Grade: B
May 20, 2017 12:18 PM
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Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 21167
D.H.Them! - 9/10 - Still the gold standard of 50's era giant mutated monster films. A really strong cast all the way down to the small, blink-and-you'll-miss-them roles. Does a great job of setting a sense of foreboding with the opening shot of a catatonic little girl wandering through the desert. Then it just takes it from there in an efficient, no frills kind of way.

Yup. Love this movie. Totally holds up for me, despite "dated" effects (to me, they actually weirdly add something to the movie, almost feels a little surreal or something).
May 20, 2017 3:46 PM
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Stu
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 66943
Just got finished writing my review of Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 on Letterboxd; long review short, while its storytelling isn't as streamlined or down-to-Earth (so to speak) as the original, I still felt Vol. 2 was an ambitious, entertaining, and worthy follow-up to the original film, and.a welcome addition to Marvel's ever-expanding, er, galaxy of films.
May 20, 2017 4:07 PM
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Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 24783
The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues - 2/10 - First of all that title is really misleading. It's more like The Phantom from...oh, I don't know...60 feet? And it wasn't much of a phantom since it must have set a record for quickest creature reveal. The movie was less than a minute in when it killed a fisherman by what looked like underwater pantsing. It looked like the head of an albino Chinese parade dragon wearing a big baggy adult sized onesie. They'd cut back to it from time to time but only for a few seconds. I guess to remind people they were watching a monster movie. The other 99% of the film was a lot of palace oceanography college intrigue with innumerable characters taking turns spying on and stalking each other. Skip this one. Or not.
May 21, 2017 3:56 AM
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Alien: Covenant 9/10
May 21, 2017 5:46 PM
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Posts: 24783
Blood Simple - 8.5/10 - I hadn't seen this in probably decades. So I was surprised how much of it I had forgotten. The whole ending for starters. But I remembered M. Emmett Walsh. There's a reason for that. And there's enough here to give you a pretty good idea of what the Coens will be capable of.
May 21, 2017 7:30 PM
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Posts: 21167
Interview With The Vampire - maybe like 5.5/10-ish?

I didn't think there was anything particularly wrong with what was on the screen (I do still think Pitt was miscast as Louis but it's not as horrible as I remember), it was what wasn't that seemed to be the problem.
And I don't mean that as like things-they-left-out-of-the-book, I think they made pretty good choices in that regard considering you have to get it down to a releasable length.
But that's sort the problem is that the movie that they DID make needed to be 10-20 minutes longer. The movie rushes along at such a breakneck pace, especially once they get to Paris but even, really, in the very beginning, that you get none of the sense of the settings or relationships that are crucial to the story. Scenes often jump very abruptly from one into what feels like the middle of the next, often skipping elements of mood or opening dialogue that would give the movie flow. Everything with Santiago and the coven of vampires under the theater is so brief that you don't really get that much of a sense of why the climactic events even happen, the relationship between Louis and Armand is "developed" so quickly that the only way you know it's happened at all is through expository dialogue, the sense of Claudia's bitterness is just barely touched upon before it becomes a major plot-point and then a moot point, certainly her relationship with Madeleine was cut so brief that you really have no sense of this character at all (I think she only has two lines) so you don't really care at all about her involvement in the climax, I mean, really, almost the entire movie, when it's not Louis narrating (which is fine), is characters telling you what's going on and or how they're feeling, nothing develops organically and, with the exception of the performance in the theater, there are almost no scenes that have any time to breathe at all, and therefore most have little impact. And therefore, there really isn't that much dread in the movie, because dread takes time and this movie doesn't give you any.
Unfortunate, because, after rewatching it, I really felt like they probably had mostly the right cast and the right director for sure, but it really looks like there's at least 10 if not 20 or 25 minutes of footage that needed to stay in the film to make it a truly good movie.
Would it have killed the studio to have released it at say 2 hours 16 minutes instead of 2 02?
May 21, 2017 8:07 PM
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Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 24783
The Giant Behemoth - 4/10 - The title's redundancy aside, there isn't much to recommend this. A different setting maybe with a picturesque English coastal fishing village at the beginning. Then the locale switches to London in time for the creature reveal almost two thirds of the way through the running time. The leading man is an odd choice with Gene Evans, who mostly did Westerns. He acquits himself pretty well though. The monster is a Willis O'Brien creation, of King Kong fame. There's a lot of footage of panicked Londoners stampeding down narrow streets. Then the usual denouement involving our intrepid hero, this time in a mini submarine. Six years earlier the director, Eugene Lourie, also made The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, which is next up in my queue. It has a much higher Tomatometer.
May 21, 2017 10:10 PM
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Posts: 2376
Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972) - 9/10

*Spoiler Warning

When I looked at a summary of what this film would be about, I assumed that it was going to be a fast-paced action film. However, what I got was something entirely different. This film felt unique compared to other survival films, and I don't think that many other directors would be able to make it as good as good as Werner Herzog did. This is a kind of a film which gets more mysterious the more I think about it.

In 1560, hundreds of Spanish conquistadors leave their home in the Andes mountains in search of the fabled country of El Dorado. Running low on supplies, 40 men are ordered to scout ahead by a raft on a river. If they don't return in one week, they will be considered lost, and everyone else will return without them. However, their expedition proves to be more and more dangerous as the days go by.

As I said above, I was expecting something completely different. I was expecting a typical fast paced action/survival film. Instead, this movie had very few battle scenes. Most of the action showed a character hit by an arrow or die off-screen. We sometimes saw glimpses of Indians or heard gunfire in the distance, but every time a character was killed by the Indians, the enemy was always unseen. I feel like Herzog's reason for filming the action like this was to show how vulnerable the Spaniards were. It was almost like he was letting the audience know that they stood no chance against the Indians. This aspect also applies to other areas. For instance, after a group of people become untrusting of their leader Guzman, he is found mysteriously dead moments later. Another great scene is when one of the characters walks off into the jungle never to be seen again. However, the best use of this aspect involves the large group of people who waited for the 40 men to come back. Since they were never seen again in the film, it raised the possibility that they might be either struggling with the Indians or are already dead. I'd say that despite the exception of a single scene and a single line of dialogue, the action was perfect.

The character of Aguirre is hard to describe. The reason I say this is because it's hard for me to decide whether he was meant to be a protagonist, an anti-hero, or a villain. If I had to choose, I'd say that he falls somewhere in the middle of being an anti-hero and a villain. He seemed like a character who cared about nothing more other than having everything done the way he wants and discovering El Dorado at all costs no matter how much of his men are still alive. He didn't seem to care about the fate of his crew (except for maybe his daughter). If any of his men would try to defy him, he wouldn't hesitate to end their life. A great plot point that given us insight to how mysterious Aguirre's character is was how he wanted Ursua to die. After Ursua is sentenced to death, the leader of the group (Guzman) prevents him from dying (an action which clearly infuriates Aguirre). After Guzman's mysteriously killed off, however, there's nothing stopping Aguirre from executing the man. With that being said, I feel like Aguirre killed Guzman, because that way, he'd be able to kill Ursua without anyone stopping him. Guzman's death seemed convenient for Aguirre. Aguirre is definitely one of the more memorable movie characters I've seen in a while.

The visuals in this movie are also worth noting. They feel both awe-inspiring and unsettling. A great example of its visuals is the intro to the film. It does a great job introducing us to the environment the film takes place in. When the film starts off, we see hundreds of men and women marching down narrow paths in the mountains. The scope of this shot is amazing as it lets the audience know hoe insignificant the men are compared to the terrain they're walking across. It also gives you a feeling that the Spaniards and the Indians will encounter numerous hardships during their expedition. Another scene that has a similar feel to the intro is when we see the rafts floating down heavy rapids in the river. Both of these scenes show that Herzog isn't afraid of risking his crew's life just to make a film.

There are also a few haunting visual set pieces. One of these scenes occur near the end when the Spaniards see a ship up in the trees. All of them react differently to it. One person thinks that it's a hallucination while another person thinks that it's real. Aguirre tells his crew to bring the ship down so they can use it to sail to the Atlantic, but one member of Aguirre's crew immediately refuses to do so - this is one of the only times in the film where a character disobeys Aguirre. This is a disturbing scene as it shows us how weak the mental state is of the remaining crew members. Another memorable scene is the ending where monkeys overrun the raft. That scene shows how Aguirre has been conquered by nature.

In conclusion, I was pleasantly surprised with this film as it turned out to be completely different than how I imagined it would be. It's a brilliant film. It may not quite reach perfection, but it's still an outstanding and a unique film. The action scenes feel unsettling, Aguirre was a memorable villain, and the visuals evoked different moods from me. I'll be sure to keep an eye out for Herzog in the future.

-

Also, Hazel can go fuck himself.
May 22, 2017 8:22 PM
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Stu
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 66943
Popcorn ReviewsAguirre, the Wrath of God (1972) - 9/10

One of my favorite movies ever! Glad you liked it too, PL.
May 23, 2017 1:49 AM
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Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 2376
Stu
?Popcorn ReviewsAguirre, the Wrath of God (1972) - 9/10

One of my favorite movies ever! Glad you liked it too, PL.

Very good review. You brought up many great points in it.
May 23, 2017 2:32 AM
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Stu
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 66943
Popcorn ReviewsVery good review. You brought up many great points in it.

Thank you <3
May 23, 2017 2:34 AM
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Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 24783
It Came from Beneath the Sea - 4/10 - This one stars Kenneth Tobey with a creature courtesy of Ray Harryhausen himself but it still falls short. The story is mostly meh and by the numbers.
May 23, 2017 4:35 AM
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